The European Commission will provide 120 million euro to the EU’s beekeeping sector over the next three years to support its essential role in agriculture and the environment, the Commission said on June 17.
This is 12 million euro more than the funding provided for the period from 2017 to 2019.
This amount, doubled by national contributions from EU member states, will apply to national apiculture programmes starting on August 1 2019 and running until July 31 2022, the statement said.
These programmes are designed by member states in co-operation with the sector at national level with the aim to improve the conditions for the apiculture sector and the marketing of their products.
Measures include, for example, education to beekeepers, support to start a beekeeping business, fighting against parasites damaging hives, and research or measures on improving honey quality.
In 2018, the EU had over 17.5 million hives divided over 600 000 beekeepers.
Beekeeping is practiced in all EU countries and the EU is the world’s second largest honey producer.
Honeybee colonies are essential for agriculture and environment, ensuring plant reproduction by pollination, while beekeeping contributes to the development of rural areas, the Commission said.
(Photo: Nate Brelsford)